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See detailA Social License to Operate for Lunar Resources Activities: Towards a Fair and Sustainable Era of Space Exploration
Salmeri, Antonino UL; Villegas, Maria Camila

in Proceedings of the 71st International Astronautical Congress - The Cyberspace Edition (2020, October)

Five years ago, soon after his nomination as ESA Director General, Jan Wörner announced the concept of a Moon Village as “an environment where both international cooperation and the commercialization of ... [more ▼]

Five years ago, soon after his nomination as ESA Director General, Jan Wörner announced the concept of a Moon Village as “an environment where both international cooperation and the commercialization of space can thrive”. Today, this concept is more alive than ever and is rapidly moving to its implementation through a series of lunar resources missions planned for as soon as 2021. In line with the spirit of cooperation and sustainability of the Moon Village, this paper addresses how lunar resources activities can become a model for fair and sustainable space exploration through the development of a Social License to Operate (SLO). SLO is defined as the efforts made by a company or entity in order to give back part of the wealth it produces to the community where it operates. On Earth, this is usually done through environmentally friendly practices, information disclosure and a various range of activities aimed at community support such as job creations, educational activities and technology transfer. Mutatis mutandis, current Earth practice on SLO can be implemented in lunar resources activities in order to ensure that they are conducted “for the benefit and interest of all Countries”, as required by Article I OST. Building on the research conducted by the Socio-Economic Panel of The Hague International Space Resources Governance Working Group, this paper explores how the development of a Social License to Operate for Lunar activities can shape a new era of fair and sustainable space exploration. Guided by the principle of adaptive governance, the paper presents the benefits of Lunar SLOs as tailored for the early stages of lunar activities. To this end, Chapter 1 presents the definition of SLO, how it is used on Earth, the experience of some countries, and the way it is granted. Following, Chapter 2 discusses the rationale for implementing SLOs for lunar activities, and how they can contribute to the early development of lunar activities. Based on the above, Chapter 3 discusses three basic features for Lunar SLOs, arguing that they should be multigoverned, multipurposes and multi-incentives. Finally, Section 4 provides a practical example of how a Lunar SLO could be structured in practice, and then the paper draws the final conclusions. Please note that this paper has been developed under the auspices of the Space Generation Advisory Council, as part of the activities of the Space Exploration Project Group [less ▲]

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